Eidos might not have anything to do with it this time, but LucasArts has confirmed that Traveller's Tales is working on another Lego Star Wars game and yes, it is about the original Star Wars trilogy.
It's due out on PS2, Xbox, Cube, PC, PSP, DS and GBA this autumn, and sounds a lot like the first LSW game - a side-scrolling melee platform game thingum with amusing Lego-brick-assemblage - but with less restrictions. Which, given that you could use the shoulder buttons to switch from R2-D2 to Darth Sideous in the last game, is saying something.
All the characters (some 50-plus) from the original trilogy will be able to rearrange Lego blocks in some way, as the Jedi and Sith did in the first LSW, and they'll often have their own distinctive weapons, signature animations and attacks, too, with some new Force powers for the hokey-religion-lovers. And, if you liked the first game, you'll be able to import your save data and use those unlocked characters too; actually, I suppose "liking it" isn't a prerequisite, although it should be a prerequisite for you being allowed air. I hate you.
There's also word that the vehicles are no longer on rails, which is good news, and that any non-droid characters can ride any creature or pilot any vehicle. Plus, the ones you gain by collecting Lego mini-kits, which then appear outside the Cantina level hub, will be usable this time rather than boring ornaments. You'll also be able to upgrade abilities using things called Power Bricks, which is still being worked on.
Naturally all the stuff included will be from the first three films (or the second three. You know what I mean), and levels will be based on key events - there's a Death Star Attack level, for example. Probably two, actually. More importantly, you'll be able to go back and explore previous areas in the level you're on.
It'll retain the original's sense of humour too, and even extrapolate a bit - LucasArts' David Perkinson, speaking to IGN, said Chewie can yank arms out of sockets like Han Solo suggests in the first film. Perkinson also had some words on the custom character tool, which sounds like it'll keep us occupied if we ever get bored of making Leia get eaten by the rancor (please god let us do that).
"When the player mixes up the various pieces of the characters in the creation process, the game will automatically generate a new and unique name for the newly created character based on the pieces used," he says. "For example, if you mix up the right variety of pieces you could end up with your very own Chew Vader, Stormbacca or Leia Wan Kenobi."
An idea we like very much. Semi-finally, this time there'll also be an adaptive difficulty level, so that if you're good the game will respond and toughen up - much-needed, some would argue, as the original wasn't particularly challenging. Or at least didn't make us shout much.
Each version will be largely the same game, too, says LucasArts, except for the DS one, which will have some stylus control and its own versus mode using one cart for four players, and the GBA one which will be something different done in the same vein, apparently.
We'd expect at the very least to be playing LSW2 at E3 in May. We'll let you know more when we do.